How to Segment Subscribers in ConvertKit

Organize Subscribers For Better Automation

(Approximately a 5-min read) 

ConvertKit stands out from the pack, because we are subscriber-centric, rather than list-centric.This means each  subscriber appears just once in your account! 

Here's how Matt from Success explains it: 

Reasons why this is awesome:

  1. Smarter segmenting.
  2. You won't be charged for duplicate subscribers.
  3. More efficient tracking of customers and subscriber activity.

The subscriber-centric model is 10x as powerful as other systems, and only requires a few additional minutes to learn!

Here's a quick video where Matt explains how to use forms, tags and segments effectively!

Now for a few tips to remember: 

All subscribers should come in through forms

Skip all confusion by remembering this simple rule: every subscriber should first come in through a form. It's easy to create lots of forms and each subscriber is tied back to the form they opted into.

ConvertKit Hint: Forms—in addition to everything else they do—also have the same functionality as tags. So if you have a "newsletter" form then you don't also need to add a tag to those subscribers of "newsletter". You know where they came from. Just use segments to group together multiple forms.


Connect your form to a sequence

The best way to do this is by selecting your form, clicking the form's Settings tab, and then selecting the desired sequence. Remember, you can connect an unlimited number of forms to a single sequence! Super easy. It is worth noting that no one will get your sequence by default, unless you subscribe them to the sequence. This means, no surprise emails for your subscribers! 

ConvertKit Hint: If your sequence isn't sending when you think it should, first check to make sure that the sequence has subscribers. If it doesn't, make sure your forms are connected to a sequence.

Create a Segment instead of a list!

You might be thinking: "so how do I create a list?"

You don't! Instead, you will create a  segment. If you've used any of these legacy email providers, you have probably found that lists are horribly inflexible, not to mention the possible duplicate emails.

Segments are ConvertKit's answer to these issues. Instead of creating an inflexible list as the first step, you will create fluid segments at any step of the process. You can also change the parameters of a segment anytime you want. That's a win in both flexibility and ease! 

ConvertKit Hint: Create an "all subscribers" segment by selecting all your forms, sequences, and tags. Then, when you want to send a broadcast to everyone, you can do that by simply selecting one segment!


Here's what it could look like

On your blog or website, you may write about more than one subject of interest. Sometimes, you'll send this content to everyone, but more often than not, you will want to send to people who are interested in one or the other. Now what? 

An example account might look like this:

  • Forms
    • Newsletter
    • Mastering Product Launches
    • Designing Web Apps sample chapter
    • Book Prelaunch List
    • A Brief Guide to Selling Digital Products
    • Design
  • Tags
    • Purchase: Designing Web Applications
    • Purchase: The App Design Handbook
    • Purchase: Book

About half of these are design related, and about half are marketing related. Instead of choosing all the forms and tags each time, you can organize them into two segments:

  • Segment: Design
    • Form: Designing Web Apps sample chapter
    • Form: Design
    • Tag: Purchase: Designing Web Applications
    • Tag: Purchase: The App Design Handbook
  • Segment: Marketing
    • Form: Newsletter
    • Form: Mastering Product Launches
    • Form: Book Prelaunch List
    • Form: A Brief Guide to Selling Digital Products
    • Tag: Purchase: Book

Out of the total subscribers (let's say 20,000) you might have 12,000 on the marketing segment, and 10,000 on the design segment. Obviously these add up to more than 20,000, which means that someone can opt-in to multiple things and appear in multiple segments. That's what we want!

In this case, someone who buys the book, and downloads the sample chapter of Designing Web Applications, would be in both the marketing segment, and the design segment. This is perfect because they've expressed interest in both topics through their activity.

ConvertKit Hint: Segments auto de-duplicate so you'll still never send to the same person twice. If someone had opted-in to a few things that make up a segment, they will still only appear once in the segment. Also, if you were to send a broadcast to two segments at the same time, those will de-duplicate against each other as well, and just send to the unique subscribers. Pretty nifty, eh? 


Excluding subscribers within a segment 

A common use for sequences is to pitch a book, or product, to your subscribers. This means that you'll want to ensure that, as soon as someone purchases, they don't get any more pitch emails. (Yikes!) The best way to do this is to use the exclude feature on the sequence settings page. To make it easy, we've included it here:  Excluding Within A Segment.

Simply put, just select one of your product purchase tags to exclude, and the moment the subscriber receives that tag, they won't get any more emails from that sequence. Voila! 

ConvertKit Hint: This means that you don't need to create an automation rule to unsubscribe purchasers from a form or sequence. Instead just add a tag with an automation and then exclude that tag from the sequence.


Segmenting Quick Tips

  1. Don't create a tag called "Newsletter" (as an example). Instead use segments to group all the appropriate forms, tags, and sequences into a single segment for your newsletter.
  2. To run multiple sites through a single ConvertKit account just create a segment for each site. Then group your forms, tags, and sequences into those segments accordingly. You can also customize the from name and email on each form, sequence, and broadcast to match the settings of that site.
  3. Avoid creating a ton of automation rules that subscribe and unsubscribe people from different forms, tags, and sequences. If what you are trying to accomplish is just grouping subscribers then it is probably better accomplished with a segment.

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Need a little extra help with Segments? Check out How To Create A Segment To Organize Subscribers 

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